What a special bird! Having only seen one Yellow-bellied Sapsucker way back in 2011, it was just like seeing the bird for the first time.
In fact, this male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker delivered much better views than the one I saw in Trepassey on April 26, 2011. That bird stayed much higher in the tree, while this one is keeping to the lower part of the tree.
Judging by all of the holes, this bird has been very busy tapping away at trees in at least three different yards. It is also likely it has been around for a while.
Yes, the red on this bird is just that vibrant. I have made no color corrections on these shots. This is just about as red as red gets. Note the loose feather just above the beak. It must have recently been preening.
This bird is very comfortable with people. It worked away at existing holes and making new ones in my presence, seemingly undisturbed.
In speaking with two welcoming homeowners hosting this Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, I learned they have had at least one other visiting their maple trees a few years ago.
The hosts were extremely gracious and very excited about this brightly colored, woodpecker-like bird.
After a while of my taking pictures and enjoying the uniqueness of this bird, it turned toward me and gave me a stern look.
Soon it lifted off and flew behind another tree where it peeped around the trunk and bid me adieu.
I got the message and left it alone to enjoy the sticky substance oozing from the trees and dribbling all down its chest. I wonder if it would drink the sap caught in a container from a properly tapped Maple Tree.